Aerobic and anaerobic exercises sound like the same thing, but they each have different pros and cons. So which is better for losing weight? And which should you add to your workout routine?
Here's a breakdown of the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, and which is better for losing weight.
Aerobic is best described as exercise that makes use of oxygen to generate energy. These exercises are meant to boost the efficiency of the cardiovascular system to absorb and transport oxygen.
Aerobic exercise usually lasts a minimum of 20 minutes. Anytime you workout on a bicycle, treadmill, elliptical machine, running track, or stepper, you're doing aerobic exercise.
Aerobic Exercise Pros
The benefits of aerobic exercise include weight loss, improved circulation, enhanced cardiovascular health, and a boosted immune system. Aerobic exercise also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and specific types of cancer.
Aerobic Exercise Cons
Aerobic exercises are great for burning fat, but they don't build much muscle. Add in the fact that some people can't handle exercising for 20 minutes or longer and it is easy to see why many prefer anaerobic exercises.
Those who have chest pains or any sort of discomfort in the chest should avoid intense aerobic exercise. This style of exercise will also prove unsuitable for those who often experience breathlessness when working out. Those who take medications for a heart condition, high blood pressure or stroke should go easy on these exercises.
This style of exercise involves physical activity without relying on oxygen to produce energy. Instead, the body generates energy that stems from glycogen, also known as carbohydrates.
Examples of anaerobic exercise include high-intensity interval training, resistance training and weightlifting. These exercises typically last a couple of minutes at most.
TRY IT: 30 Minutes Anaerobic Workout
Anaerobic Exercise Pros
The benefits of anaerobic exercises range from muscle development to improved bone density, improved cardiovascular health and the reduction of body fat. Every workout routine should include some sort of anaerobic exercise to help tone your body.
Anaerobic Exercise Cons
With anaerobic exercise, the focus is primarily on building muscle rather than improving endurance. If you're looking to boost your stamina, burn lots of fat and get in shape for something like a marathon or a team sport, anaerobic workouts won't help you reach your fitness goals.
One of the most important disadvantages to this style of exercise is that it causes the accumulation of lactate within the blood. These ions irritate muscle tissue and contractions. They also create a burning sensation within the muscles that causes muscle fatigue and, in some instances, muscle failure.
Which Is Better For Weight Loss?
In terms of overall fitness, neither of these forms of exercise is superior to the other. Aerobic exercise is best for immediate weight loss. If you have a lot of excess fat, you'll want to incorporate cardio-boosting aerobics into your workout regimen. However, you'll also need anaerobic workouts for toning and to prevent those pounds from coming back.
Aerobic and anaerobic exercises ultimately work best if done together. If you want to lose weight and tone your muscles, the best way to do that is with a balanced workout with both.
Though you don't have to perform aerobic and anaerobic exercises every single time you work out, you shouldn't just do one or the other. Instead, try alternating the two. Do thirty-minute aerobic exercises every other day and thirty-minute strenuous anaerobic exercises on the day in-between.
Work with your personal trainer to find the right mix for your fitness goals.
Build up your tolerance of higher impact exercises. Try my 30-Day Toned Arm Challenge below for free.
Many people avoid yoga because they're inflexible. The problem is, they're the ones who should take up yoga in the first place.
If you find yourself facing a similar situation, i.e., you'd like to start a yoga practice but don't feel flexible enough, here's the good news: There are plenty of poses you can start with while gradually deepening your practice.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind before you do the following poses:
1) Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the pose, and
2) Don't hold the pose for longer than your body allows.
1. Child's Pose
The Child's Pose is a basic resting pose you can hold for a few minutes.
How to do it: Begin with your knees and feet on the floor with your feet touching. Slowly lean forward to place your head on the floor while resting your belly and chest between your legs. Stretch your arms out in front of you.
2. Upper Chest and Back Opener
You can do this move almost anywhere and while either sitting or standing.
How to do it: Raise your arms to shoulder height with your elbows bent. Make your hands into loose fists that are facing each other. Open your chest by drawing your elbows back as if they were going to meet behind your back. Next, return to the starting position while continuing onward until your hands wrap around your shoulders with one elbow stacked on the other. Do two to three sets while switching which elbow is on top.
3. Chair Pose
Both sides of your body will move in and out of this pose at the same time. The Chair Pose is an excellent leg strengthener.
How to do it: Stand with either your feet together or hip-width apart if you're especially stiff. Bend your knees as if you're sitting in a chair while raising your arms alongside either side of your head.
4. Seated Forward Bend
If you're new to yoga, use a block and straps for this exercise, which increases flexibility in your legs and back.
How to do it: Sit on a block or blanket with your legs stretched out in front of you, knees slightly bent. Place the strap around your feet and gradually lengthen your spine as you move your upper body forward. Be careful not to round your spine.
5. Locust Pose
The Locust Pose is an excellent backbend for beginners that strengthens all of the muscles in your back.
How to do it: Lie on your belly and raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor. Your palms should face the floor as you focus on keeping your neck long while extending your head away from the chest. If you'd like, clasp your hands behind your back when you lift to create a deeper opening for your shoulders and chest.
6. Tree Pose
The Tree Pose is a one-legged balancing pose that helps center the mind while building confidence.
How to do it: Stand on one leg and bring the foot of your opposite leg up to your ankle (or higher depending on your flexibility). Lift your arms into the air to create the tree's "branches." It's OK to put a hand against the wall for balance or to stand with your back against the wall.
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Alcohol may taste and feel good going down at first, but it has negative consequences in the ensuing hours. We're sure you've experienced this "pain." Though some swear by coffee as a hangover remedy, exercise is actually one of the best cures.
Working out after a long night certainly doesn't sound as appealing as sleeping in and gorging on a greasy burger and fries later, but it works.
As long as you hydrate before, during and after a workout, you'll have an excellent chance of rebounding to your normal state of mind and body.
How A Sweat Session Alleviates A Hangover
The magic of exercise partially lies in the fact that it eliminates harmful toxins from the body. If you work out with enough intensity to break a sweat, most of those nasty toxins will exit through your pores.
However, taking it to the max with an intense CrossFit workout or a competitive racquetball match is a mistake. Exercising with extreme intensity creates so much movement that your body won't be able to recover in a timely or thorough manner.
Go for a light run outdoors or on the treadmill. Do a light weight training session with fewer reps and lighter weights than normal. The key is to break a sweat so those unsavory toxins have an avenue to exit your system. Soaking those toxins up with bread is not the solution, as tasty as that may sound.
Be Careful With Your Hangover Workout
Going all out during your workout while suffering from a hangover has the potential to backfire. Do not push yourself to the max after a night of drinking. Be sure to drink water and/or a sports drink with electrolytes to hydrate and replenish your system — the night of and throughout the next day. Also, be sure to consume some carbohydrates in the form of fruit and/or oatmeal at least an hour before you hit the gym.
Though coffee will certainly stimulate your system, it will also dehydrate your already water-zapped body. Do not lose sight of the fact that alcohol forces you to excrete water at a rapid rate. Provide your body with the proper fuel and you will greatly reduce the odds of a workout disaster in which your already-taxed body gives out.
Exercise Is The Ultimate Anti-Depressant
Exercise has the power to heal the mind as well as the body. Physical activity spurs the release of hormones and neurochemicals like adrenaline and endorphins. These “happy chemicals” make you feel better mentally and physically. This is exactly what you need in the midst of a depressing hangover.
If you are looking to improve your physique and overall mentality, Ralph Roberts Training is the answer. We can help you figure out exactly which exercises and diet plan are right for your particular body and physical fitness desires. Contact us today to schedule a personal training session — on the house!
Need some workouts you can do in the comforts of your own home after a long night out? Download Ralph Roberts Personal Training's FREE 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
Generations of women were told to avoid any type of exercise while pregnant. This was based on the idea that even moderate exercise could pose potential harm to both the baby and the mother. Fortunately, decades of research have taught us otherwise.
The only condition that a pregnant woman needs to be careful with what types of exercises she undertakes is how strenuous her exercise routine is.
The first step is to talk with your doctor about what your current workout includes and what steps you should take to modify it. Most doctors know the importance of fitness for a healthy pregnancy and are glad to work with patients.
Exercises To Avoid While Pregnant
Your body is going to go through steady changes over a 9-10 month period. You need to get in tune with your body and the changes it is going through. What you can do in your first trimester is not going to be what you are capable of in the last.
Reduce the intensity of your exercises. Your body is going to go through major changes as you move from one trimester to another. Be prepared to reduce your intensity as needed.
Cut back on, then eliminate, jumps and twists in your routine. As your body changes to accommodate your growing uterus, you are going to experience weight gain and a shift in your center of gravity. Add in twists and jumps with these changes and you have a recipe for disaster.
Find low-impact exercise options for the third trimester. Walking and swimming are both good options. Being prepared before you reach this point will make the transition easier.
And always, always listen to your doctor. If your doctor tells you to stop doing a particular exercise, stop.
Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts who knows how to modify exercises for pregnant women. Contact him today to schedule a free personal training session.
The best kind of body conditioning targets the whole body. "Spot toning" is something that people used to talk about frequently, but it is not an effective strategy for fitness. If you want to get lean and shapely, you need to work it all.
How Can I Work All My Muscles?
This is easier said than done, especially if you’re new to fitness. You may find yourself expending a lot of energy doing exercises that aren't very effective – a waste of time.
It can be helpful to use someform of equipment to help you get the most out of your workout, and to help you achieve proper resistance, balance and form. Resistance bands, weights and exercise balls are all good choices.
How Can I Work Out With An Exercise Ball?
There are a number of moves you can do with an exercise ball that will have you toned from head to toe.
Push-ups with feet on the exercise ball. Push-ups are a great exercise that helps tone shoulders, arms and back. With the added challenge of resting your feet on an exercise ball, you add increased balance, which also helps tone and strengthen your core and back.
If you want to work your abdominals, the exercise ball is an effective tool. Try the exercise ball crunch. Lie across the ball, feet flat on the ground with the ball supporting your lower and mid back. Keeping your eyes on the ceiling, perform the crunch.
To target those stubborn lower abs and increase core strength, try an Exercise Ball Pull-in. Start in the pushup position, with your feet on the ball. Then, using your feet and legs, pull the ball in toward your chest. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged while you do this.
Work your glutes with an Exercise Ball Bridge. With the ball supporting head, neck and upper back and feet flat on the floor, extend and raise hips toward the ceiling, then bring them back to the starting position.
Work those hamstrings with the Ball Leg Curl. Lie on the floor and prop your feet up on the ball with legs extended. Now, bring the ball towards you. Push it back.
The exercise ball provides an endless list of moves to tone and tighten your body. If you’ve struggled with meeting your fitness goals, a personal trainer can help by creating a customized workout plan that meets your individual needs.
Not only that, but you will get tons of motivation and one on one time. Ralph Roberts has been helping people meet their goals for years. Find him at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
Are you worrying that you won't be swimsuit ready in time for summer now that those warm days are just around the corner? Don’t worry; there is still time to lose weight and get in shape. With a little discipline, will power, time and effort, you can kick your metabolism into gear and have your body looking good for summer.
What’s the quickest way to burn calories?
High energy cardiovascular exercise is perfect for not just burning calories while you perform the exercises, but also for hours afterward, too. HiiT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) gets the heart rate up right away, but it also keeps the metabolism revved for the rest of the day, no matter what you are doing. This is truly the quickest way to burn fat and calories, along with sculpting.
Please don't forget to eat enough to keep your body performing at its best.
How can I sculpt my arms, abs and legs for summer?
You cannot get that bikini body without strength training. Not only does muscle take up less room on the body (i.e. a smaller dress size), but it also burns more calories, all day long, than fat does.
You will want to do the following moves, 12 reps per set, starting with one set and working up to three sets as you get stronger.
For abs: Do regular crunches, planks and bicycle crunches to really work the entire core section. For the plank, start by holding it for just 10 seconds, and work your way up to a minute. Once you have mastered the regular plank, add in side planks. These will get your abs working hard.
For arms: Do sets of push-ups, tricep dips off of a chair or step, and moves with a resistance band. A resistance band is a great piece of equipment: it's versatile, travels well, takes up little space, is cheap to purchase and gets the job done. When you work against rubber resistance, you are using your entire body weight, making your muscles work. Try the resistance band for bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses and more.
For the lower body: Do sets of squats, squat jumps (without weights), lunges, plié or sumo squats, deadlifts and step ups. If you have a step, like those used in step aerobics, simply add a riser or two, grab two hand weights (or start with no weight if you are new to weight training) and step up and down. This really works the glutes.
What foods should I cut back on?
And finally, no routine is going to get your body ready for summer without a good clean eating plan. 70% of the body is 'made' in the kitchen. Toss the processed foods, the sugary snacks and the simple carbs. Try eating clean, which means just shopping the outer perimeter of the store. Shop for items that do not have nutrition information (that means they just have one ingredient, like fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and so forth).
Cook your own meals instead of eating out, and you’ll quickly notice a change in the way you look and feel.
Have more questions about how you can get your body in shape for summer? Contact Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer in Amarillo who will help you get the results you want. He will guide you on making the right health decisions so you can not just lose weight and get in shape, but also make a lasting lifestyle change.
Exercise bikes have been around for decades. They remain a solid choice for getting a major workout. Whether you want to go to the gym or purchase one for your own home, they are wonderful for getting your heart rate up and burning calories.
How Many Calories Can I Expect To Burn Cycling?
The amount of calories you will burn, depends on several factors: speed, time, resistance, your body weight and more. The amount of calories you burn on a stationary bike will differ from the number you burn mountain biking, for example.
For an hour-long light session on a stationary bike, you can easily burn 300 calories. For an intense ride, you can burn more than 500. It all depends! In addition to a great calorie burn, there are many other reasons exercise bikes are preferred by many people.
Should I Use An Exercise Bike?
Whether you are just starting to get in shape, are training for a race or just want to keep a steady workout going, consider pedaling away on an exercise bike. Why? Exercise bikes are:
Great for those with joint issues. Stationary bicycling is not a weight-bearing workout. That means your body weight is not being supported on your feet, knees, or hips. For people with joint problems, this training helps them get fit without aggravating or worsening existing joint problems.
Good for those who have more than 50 pounds to lose. Because it is not a weight-bearing exercise, a stationary bike is perfect for those who have a great deal of weight to lose. It helps reduce stress on joints, while strengthening them at the same time.
Help expand muscular flexibility and range of motion. The gentle repetitive motions of the stationary bicycle helps to extend and flex the muscles of the legs, knees, and feet. This is perfect for a warm-up before exercise. It is also a good option for those who have sustained a leg injury and need to start working the leg muscles.
Provide an excellent form of cardiovascular workout. Riding a stationary bike at a moderate pace will get the heart pumping. Gradually increasing speed will get it working even harder. This helps improve heart health, increases metabolism and start the weight loss process.
Are easy for the beginner or challenging for the fit. No matter what fitness level a person is, a stationary bicycle can offer a decent workout. Both manual and electronic bikes have different resistance settings. At the lowest settings, it can help someone just starting to get fit. At the highest resistance settings, it can give even the fittest person a complete workout.
Leave fewer excuses not to exercise. A common reason people skip exercising is bad weather. There is no excuse with a stationary bike at home. You can use it in rain, snow, sleet, and high winds. There is no reason to skip a workout when you do not have time to get to the fitness center. You can get up 15 minutes earlier in the AM and get a ride in, or jump on the bike when you get home.
Can be used at the gym or home. Stationary bicycles are great for a home workout option. They are also a change of pace from weights and elliptical machines at the gym.
Can do it while watching TV, reading or listening to music. Exercise can be boring for some people. A TV or a portable music player can make a workout on the bike fun and entertaining. The bicycle routine can be leisurely enough to enjoy the entertainment, but strenuous enough to be a real workout.
What Else Can I Do Besides The Exercise Bike?
There are ways to maximize your exercise bike workouts. However, if you want to add more exercises on your bike workout, talk with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified Amarillo personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. He can show you how to get the best workout possible out of a bike at the gym or one at home, and come up with a workout routine you will enjoy. Contact Ralph today to learn more about personal training as well as workouts customized just for you.
To many, yoga is a strange and mysterious activity. It conjures up visions of ancient practitioners and strange spiritual practices. In reality, yoga is a great full body workout that will not only strengthen and tone your muscles but will also improve you overall health.
Many gyms and health clubs now offer yoga classes for all levels. If you decide to take the plunge and start practicing yoga you will start on a path towards total health. There are a number of benefits that you will reap from yoga. Here are just a few.
Does Yoga Build Muscle?
Having strong, well defined muscles may make you look good but they benefit you in other ways, too. Strong muscles help prevent conditions like arthritis and back pain and many other degenerative conditions that happen as you get older. Yoga is a great way to build muscle tone.
Will Yoga Improve My Flexibility?
Having good muscle tone is one thing, but when you combine it with flexibility you are really building a strong, healthy body. When you first start practicing yoga you will most likely not be too flexible. Touching your toes may be a real challenge. But as you progress you will notice a gradual loosening of your joints. Poses that seemed impossible before will now bring a smile to your face.
What About Heart Health?
It may not seem like it, but yoga is a tough workout. You will sweat, your heart rate will increase and you will likely be sore the next day if you are just beginning. Getting your heart rate into the aerobic range can lessen your chances of a heart attack. While not all yoga classes will get your heart up into that range any yoga class will benefit your heart.
Studies have shown that yoga can lower your resting heart rate and increase your endurance. For this reason alone yoga should become part of your exercise routine.
There are also a number of studies that show how yoga can lower your blood pressure. A simple pose like Savasana (or Corpse Pose) which is nothing more than having your lie still on the floor, has been proven to lower blood pressure, according to British medical journal The Lancet.
Can Yoga Help My Joints?
During every yoga class you will be taking your joints through a full range of motion. Your joint cartilage is similar to a sponge. As you move you “squeeze” the cartilage and fluid goes out and then fresh nutrients come back in. This continual movement can help prevent degenerative diseases like arthritis.
Another great thing about yoga is that is soothes the mind and relaxes you. And we could all need a breather every now and then.
If you want to learn more about yoga or find another type of workout regimen for you, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am a certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Texas. Get in touch with me today to set up a personal training session.
photo courtesy of Ambro / Free Digital Photos
A BOSU Ball is fitness device that looks like a stability ball cut in half. The flat side is a rigid platform. The other side is an inflated half-sphere that feels and reacts much like a ball, except for the rolling and bouncing parts. BOSU stands for "both sides up". This fitness device offers workouts using both the flat rigid platform and the unstable ball bottom.
How Does A Bosu Ball Improve Balance?
The BOSU is a great device to improve balance. The person stands on the rigid platform with the inflated portion on the ground. This forces the person's body to work to remain in balance. It engages the leg, back, and abdominal muscles as the body shifts around.
Once you have a certain stability built up, you can change things up to give yourself a challenge:
What Are Some Strength-Building Exercises for a Bosu Ball?
When you flip the BOSU over with the rigid side down and the inflated side up, you have a great platform for doing strength training on an unstable surface.
Where Can I Learn More About Bosu Ball Exercises?
If you want to learn how to use the BOSU ball and build up your strength and balance, work with a certified personal trainer, like Ralph Roberts. Contact Ralph today to schedule a personal training session where he can customize a workout just for you. Be sure to check out my instructional video below on how to use a Bosu ball!
The foam roller has made its presence known in the world of fitness the past couple of years. This form of exercise has a well-deserved reputation for gently stretching the muscles and it can ease painful muscles after an intense workout. It offers relief for those just getting into fitness and those who have already been there for a long time. Its curved, unstable shape also makes it a great tool for strength training your core.
What is a foam roller anyway?
It is a roll of firm foam that usually measures 6 inches in diameter, and comes in various lengths. Most people work with a roller that is 24 to 36 inches long. The foam can hold up even with the full weight of the user sitting on top of it.
What exercises can you do with a foam roller?
You can do a variety of stretches and exercises with the help of the foam roller. The key is to roll for a minimum of 30 seconds per exercise. Here are five exercises to get you started:
How do I use a foam roller?
A personal trainer can help you develop a full workout routine that uses the roller to its maximum, as well as other low-impact exercises. The trainer can also show you how to use it to warm up and cool down after a major workout.
If you want to learn how to use a foam roller, contact me, Ralph Roberts, personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo. If you are interested in other workouts, such as using an exercise ball, resistance bands or simply weights, I can help.
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